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robclem21 last won the day on November 5 2018

robclem21 had the most liked content!

About robclem21

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    Toronto, Ontario

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  1. robclem21

    retaking a 515

    No idea. Whatever they communicate with you and on their website is truthful. There is no "hidden" cutoff. As to what is competitive and exactly how it's scored, I'm sure it varies by year and they don't share that information with us.
  2. robclem21

    retaking a 515

    Better CARS will not compensate for a lower GPA for Toronto. They are evaluated independently, and as mentioned before, once above the cutoff it makes absolutely 0 difference.
  3. To be honest, i'm not sure how many "formal" opportunities there are for shadowing during the summers. Most of those programs that are solely observership occur during the academic year, and most during the summer are accompanied by some sort of research component. These are also usually exclusive to UofT students. Most hospitals have summer research programs where you might be able to swing your way into shadowing a little bit. UofT doesn't do pre-clerkship electives. I'll also echo above. Unless you want a super competitive specialty, enjoy your summer. Go travel and worry about clerkship in the fall. There is more than enough time to spend in the hospital.
  4. There is no EC that you could do in a couple months in the summer that would "truly" make someone go "wow, that sounds interesting". I don't know much about your application, but I find that 90% of applicants have similar/standard ECs. Some people may have more experience in one area (i.e. volunteering vs. research vs. employment), but overall there is very little difference. Often the difference is in how passionately and genuinely people can talk about their experience and relate it back to what they've learned and why it will make them a good physician. Find something you enjoy and do that because it's the only way you can write about it for an application or talk about it without sounding rehearsed and generic during an interview. Spend lots of time on next years apps.
  5. robclem21

    Rate My ECs

    ECs sound pretty standard. They have the potential to be average or the potential to be fantastic depending on how you present them. You don't need to do anything else IMO, but think long and hard about what you've learned from each, and how you can demonstrate that the skills/qualities you have gained from these activities will contribute to making you a good physician. This is often the part that most people struggle with. Look up CANMEDs and spend lots of time writing and editing.
  6. Because, orgo/biochem/physics are not important for medical school. Medical schools will either a) re-teach you everything they want you to know or b) expect you to be self-directed and catch up on what you don't know in your own time. Medical schools are looking for hard-working, motivated, self-directed, and most important personable students. The material can always be taught to anyone. It's not difficult.
  7. robclem21

    Elective location diversity?

    The main reason people go unmatched is because they a) only apply to very competitive specialties with no back-up plan, or b) don't apply broadly enough. For less competitive specialties, doing electives across the country isn't as big of a deal, but there was some pretty strong evidence from afmc/carms this year showing that you are significantly less likely to get an interview somewhere if you do not do an elective there for more competitive specialties (https://www.carms.ca/data-reports/r1-data-reports/electives/). It will never hurt you to diversify, meet more people, and make yourself known. I agree with edict that 2-3 weeks is more than enough to accomplish this.
  8. Hi there, I just want to start by saying that I think you are an incredibly strong person, and you should be very proud of what you have accomplished given the circumstances, even if it is not 100% what you were hoping to achieve. I am also very sorry to hear about all the challenges you have gone through early in your life and I hope everything settles down and you can get on the right track. I have a few thoughts regarding the main purpose of your post. First, re: informing the schools, I think there are definitely things there that would be important to tell the school. These not only help justify why things may have been more challenging, but are also a part of what make you such a strong person. That being said, I would imagine most schools still require you to meet the cutoffs for pre-requisites, GPA, and MCAT. They may consider slightly less competitive marks and less volunteering, but they are not going to admit an applicant who is still not close to the minimum requirements (even with your circumstances). Therefore, it may take a bit more time for you to even be qualified to apply without considering the impact of an extenuating circumstances letter. Second, med school is an unbelievably stressful endeavour. If the rest of your ducks aren't lined up before med school then there is no healthy way to be successful. Reading your story, it doesn't entirely sound like everything you have dealt with is resolved (from an emotional and psychological standpoint), and even though you have been incredibly resilient and strong, I think it would be vital to ensure your life is completely in order before you attempt medical school. Ultimately this will contribute to your success. Others may have differing opinions/thoughts for you to consider as well, but this is just my 2 cents. Finally, don't give up. Your path (even from this point forward) may be more challenging. If you truly want to do this, then you should go for it. You can definitely succeed, but be cautiously optimistic because it will take a lot of work. Myself, and probably most of this forum, are rooting for you. Good luck.
  9. I don't disagree that building habits is a good thing and that those habits start early on. But it's hard to argue that the motivation to do well in clerkship is way higher, which in turn drives a lot of people to put in more effort than they otherwise would in pre-clerkship. The learning is way more interesting, more fun, more meaningful, and your evaluations are arguably worth more. Those factors alone drive you to put in the extra time and work.
  10. I would disagree with those saying that higher grades = better performance in clerkship. I find that the two require an entirely different skillset and for the most part the way you practice and learn is very different. There is a good chance you will need to re-learn most things anyway since there is just so much. I would be surprised if there is more than minor correlation between somebody's pre-clerkship grades and their clerkship performance. IMO there is nothing wrong with barely passing.
  11. You are going into the wrong career my friend...
  12. robclem21

    Gap year after 3rd year

    It might not be viewed negatively, but whats the point? Most people can do well on the MCAT studying during the summer and you don't lose an entire year? Plus you also lose out on another application cycle. It is true that some people take a gap year after undergraduate, but mostly those are applicants who don't get accepted on their first application cycle and want to strengthen their application with ECs or work or research. In the unlikely situation where you would have to explain why you took a gap year, doing for the MCAT isn't a very good reason in my opinion and wouldn't help your application.
  13. robclem21

    What Am I doing Wrong?

    Ok so, my thoughts on all of the above: 1) The most important thing is your mental health. I strongly encourage you that this should be your first and foremost priority. Whether it is undergrad, medical school, or anything else in life, it will only become more challenging if you are unable to take care of yourself. To be successful in anything you need to be in a good headspace. If that involves finding some friends and making more effort to have a social life, or finding a counsellor to talk to you, or seeing your family doctor, then do what needs to be done. You're entire self worth should not be based on getting into medical school. That is not healthy or appropriate. Until you take care of this first step, nothing else will work well for you. 2) Sadly, others are right regarding medical school. From the outside and in undergrad, medical school seems like the solution to all your problems. I appreciate that your friends have told you medical school is great (and there are definitely moments where that feels true), but it is also filled with problems and stress of it its own. Hence the importance of having your mental health in check. Others have already discussed the numerous things that can arise (useless work, stress of applying for residency, vast amount of information, etc.) Even though a lot of what you are learning has clinical relevance, it doesn't "fix" everything because you still don't know where you will be. That ALWAYS exists. Whether its electives, or residency, or a fellowship, or a job after that. 3) You may need to take a step back before you take a step forward. Take some time to sit down and reflect on what everyone here has said. Sometimes the way people say things can be a bit harsh, but that doesn't mean they are a bully. Truth can be difficult to process sometimes especially when it isn't what you came here to hear. Consider whether your major is best for you, whether entry into medical school RIGHT NOW is the best thing for you, whether your courses are appropriate for your goal, whether your study habits and social life are optimized. THEN you can start to have a better plan and maybe enjoy your path. There is no part of this process that should be THIS painful for you. Parts will be less than ideal, but to get to this stage feeling this way, something has gone awry. The best way to succeed academically is to enjoy what you are doing. There are multiple paths to medical school. There is always hope. You can do it and get into medical school if you want it bad enough which it sounds like you do. But not without change and a realistic attitude and self-care. Just keep working hard and take some time for yourself. Hope this helps.
  14. This type of scheduling is beyond neurotic and completely unrealistic. I think you know that is ridiculous and there is a 0% chance you stick to this schedule. Even if this sleep and eating schedule doesn't mess you up big time, this type of schedule will burn you out in a week. You have literally scheduled every minute of your day. How do you plan to go from gym to eating in 0 minutes with no time to prepare, or make, or buy food? To answer your initial question, there is no way for us to know the exact number of hours you will need to study. That varies by each person and the courses you are taking. Some people do well studying a few hours a week, others need an hour or two to review nightly. Rather than insanely scheduling every second of the day, just try to squeeze in studying when you can and see how it goes.
  15. robclem21

    Resources for current healthcare trends and issues